The ManyElectronics Agency dena and the working group Power-to-Gas, which dena launched, demand changes to a bill amending the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) so as to recognise hydrogen and methane derived from renewable energy sources as biofuels. This was presently not the case, putting hydrogen and methane at a disadvantage compared to other biogenic fuels, dena says.
Since 2007 producers of fuels are required to sell a minimum share of biofuels (quota obligation) in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. To improve the climate footprint of biofuels Parliament decided in 2009 to also mandate greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements for the biofuel share starting to apply in 2015. The latest amendment introduced to Parliament wants to raise the greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations for 2015 and 2016 slightly and lower it as of 2017. Besides, the bill contains amendments aimed at ensuring the execution of the greenhouse gas emission reduction obligation and simplifying and clarifying provisions as well as providing for speedy implementation of future European requirements.
Dena and the Power-to-Gas Group want to include hydrogen and methane as fuels recognised in Section 37b BImSchG as biofuels that fulfill the quota obligations laid down in Section 37a BImSchG, thereby increasing the diversity of renewable fuels in view of the limited capacity for biogenic fuels and the high green house gas reduction potential of fuels from wind and solar power. Hydrogen and methane can be produced with the power to gas technology that converts renewable electricity by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by means of electrolysis. In a next step hydrogen can be combined with carbon dioxide to get methane.
Besides, renewable hydrogen could also be used directly in refineries to produce fuel, but regulatory incentives were needed, dena and the Power-to-Gas Group say. Therefore they propose to also amend Section 37a BImSchG by supplementing it with a paragraph according to which hydrogen used in refineries to produce diesel and petrol counts towards the quota obligation.